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follow the leader


minx
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I expect that I might get ripped for asking what might seem like an obvious question but here it goes. How did you decide when you were a) ready to lead easy stuff b)when to progress to leading harder routes? This stems from a healthy beer soaked debate last night. I've always been very cautious and only led things much much easier than what I can climb. My climbing partner du jour takes a more relaxed approach.

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Everybody does stupid shit when they start leading. You just have to go for it and hope that the stupid shit you do isn't so stupid that you kill yourself. Try leading a bunch of sport climbs first that way there's less stupid shit to do. I've always thought a good general rule of thumb for climbers of all skill levels is don't get on a climb that challenges your gear placing abilities and your climbing abilities at the same time. [Confused] But other than that drink two shots of espresso, shotgun four beers and you can climb anything.

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talk a lot of shit before hand about how much you want to climb route X and how you are gonna send, etc. then go there with people who will call BS if you fail to send. peer pressure gets you up routes.

 

seriously, if you are worried about leading a route rated 5.whatever, 1) ask around for opinion on what a 'soft' one is, 2) lead a few routes rated 5.whatever-1, 3) top rope a few routes of 5.whatever+1 grade then get on your chosen route and send! If you are really worried, headpoint it by TRing it a few times until you can do a no falls TR every time then go for the lead.

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thanks for the answers! It's not so much that I'm worried about what I should and shouldn't lead. It was more of a theoretical question raised over a few beers. I am/was very conservative and my regular climbing partner is more of a risk taker. We were talking sh!te about our reasons. He pretty much figures that if he's climbed it once he can lead it. "i've made the moves on that over hang, i can lead it" I think leading is as much or more about your pro sense as it is about your ability to get up crag. I've been taking a break for about 5 years so I'm not leading anything for a while!!

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quote:

Originally posted by minx:

How did you decide when you were a) ready to lead easy stuff b)when to progress to leading harder routes?

I started climbing back when Jimmy was president, and really got into it when Ronald was threatening the evil empire. Boldness was more admired then, IMO. I initally highball bouldered, top roped stuff, and soloed routes. I thought that risk was what climbing was all about. I started leading on a trip to Yosemite. All my decision making hinged on whether I thought I could do it, or not. Not on whether I had climbed enough at any certain grade, or not.

But the deal with climbing is there are no rules. Do what feels right for you.

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"Back in the 1970's we didn't top rope for ever and ever like people do now. You went out once or twice then started leading, or quit." - Kobus Barnard.

 

Words of wisdom which have served me well over the years. Basically my opinion is that anyone whio can TR a 5.8 with no falls (which is pretty much everyone) should try leading.

 

As for when to lead harder stuff - when you have led enough easier stuff you want to try something more challenging. The "pyramid" theory says that if you want to lead your first 10a, you should do it after successfully leading 3 or 4 5.9s of a similar style. On the other hand, on sport climbing I see people who have never ever successfully onsighted 11b working 12c so I guess its whatever you can pull on there.

 

[ 11-21-2002, 09:53 AM: Message edited by: Dru ]

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I don't know if I have business leading some routes, but I do. Gear holds when I call for a take, but I have not taken a screamer on trad. People who clean my leads will more often say this piece is an awesome placement than this piece is total crap, but the latter happens too, so maybe I don't place consistently good gear. Maybe I place gear at times simply to push me through a section, even if it is poor placement. Part of the thrill I guess but not very smart. Best not to head above a questionable piece when starting out, but you can spend too much time and energy fiddling with stuff.

 

I find TR'ing climbs before leading them talks me out of a lead I could do sometimes.

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it was some eurotrash (simond?) deal with a wiregate at one end, bent at the other. My (BD - brainwashed) mind was so confused. Not to mention the 2 foot runout on slab 5.7 bolts was getting to my head. Thin air up there above Bookworm. Maybe should get one of those everest bottles. There was some rustling off to my right in Rattlesnake Chimney. I thought what the f- no one climbs that crap...hence my sporto blunder-clip.

 

[ 11-21-2002, 03:43 PM: Message edited by: iain ]

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quote:

Originally posted by iain:

DFA - "Nubbins? on Wedding Day? Those are sinker jugs pussy"

Hey, now, DFA doesn't talk shit like that, buster! Maybe if you had said something about the heinous crimpers on Toxic ... [Roll Eyes] Anyway, those are nubbins, and they're small and jingus to boot. At least Wedding Day has some edges on it, as opposed to the vile and hateful Barbecue the Pope, aka the hardest route at Smith. Either way, if it's around 5.10 and it's at Smith Rock, it's probably a technique-dependent sufferfest and should be avoided.

 

[ 11-21-2002, 04:14 PM: Message edited by: Dr Flash Amazing ]

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quote:

Originally posted by iain:

Well that's good to hear. Nubbins, and the start is bouldery to boot.

Dammit, DFA is getting forgetful in his later years! The Doctor meant to console you by letting you know that everyone and their dog falls off the start of Wedding Day. Everyone gets on it for a moderate lead, not knowing that the crux is getting off the deck. In fact, DFA can't recall ever walking by there when someone was starting the route and not seeing them flailing. Stupid piece of shit route! [Mad]

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